View Full Version : Anybody shooting 8x10 ? Issues with film flatness ?
For several years, I've had a very nice Rochester Optical 8x10 view camera from the 1890's... it came with a 4x5 reducing back.
I've shot a few images with it, then set it aside, working with smaller view cameras.
I have finally acquired an 8x10 back for the Rochester, and have begun to think about shooting some truly large-format...
I'm also wondering if I am going to run into issues with sheet film staying flat in the holder ?
( "Back in the day", this wan't an issue, thanks to glass plates...)
My other challenge will be finding a subject "worthy of" 8x10 expense ! :rolleyes:
Thoughts ? Hard-luck stories ?
I've only ever shot film in 8x10 and never had significant problems with film flatness. This includes when I started, in an advertising studio, 30+ years ago. It's one of those things that is much more of a problem in theory than in practice. Some swear by double-sided tape -- a patch in the middle of the holder -- but I don't recall ever meeting any professionals who did it.
Tip: orient the holder the way it's ging to be in the camera (portrait or landscsape) and tap it on a hard surface so the film is settled. Otherwise there is a small but non-negligible risk of its moving during a long exposure. A much less obvious risk than film bellying out, but more of a problem in practice.
My favourite subjects are crowded interiors with ultrawides (110-121mm) and Hollywood-style portraits with longer lenses such as my 21 inch Ross.
It's a non-issue, especially with a older wooden camera that will have plenty of other loose tolerances. You might not want to shoot wide open or point the camera straight down without testing first.
Non-issue with modern film holders, as far as I have noticed.
No problems ever with 8x10 film flatness, I use Fidelity holders. Lenses on my 8x10 Sinar Norma range from 121mm to 800mm. I think it's easier to compose and see with the 8x10 as opposed to the 4x5. So much detail!
I've never had troubles with flatness either, and shot with the camera aimed straight down for three years straight- with both modern Fidelity holders and older Kodak and Graflex wooden ones.
Just been getting back to shooting the 810, and boy has my ability suffered for shooting RF cameras for the last four years! A whole other gorilla.
Thnks, all !
I'll stop worrying about flatness and move on to other things... like which film I will try...
I'm tempted to shoot some color transparency, but perhaps should start with a slow B&W...
There's a sizeable rail-road museum here in town ( Steamtown, Scranton ) with lots of sleeping giants on static display outdoors; they would probably lend themselves to B&W large-format, a la Darius Kinsey...
As for my lens / shutter, it is a "Ralph Golsen Special Rectilinear" mounted on a Bausch & Lomb "Unicum" pneumatic shutter, with Uniform System stops ( f: 4 wide-open). No markings as to focal legnth. It's an impressive-looking big brass lens, probably fairly "fast" for its era.
Will try to snap some pics of the rig with my cel-phone digi and post.
As for film holders, I have two... they're either Riteway or Fidelity, or late wooden Graphic / Eastman.
If you haven't already done so, you might want to test the film holders for light tightness with printing paper before using them with film. Especially if you have any old wooden ones.
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